If I had made a list of my favorite baby items for my first born, it would have been much different. After living and learning I have discovered that sometimes the "must have essentials" aren't so essential and that a few luxury things here and there make all the difference. I've also learned that less is more. For real. I don't even carry a baby bag most days at this point.
1. Tourance Baby Blanket - I've talked about this blanket before, but it's worth mentioning again. Softest blanket ever! It's one of those luxury items I spoke about above, but honestly both my boys love their blankets and it's seriously the only blanket I use these days (unless it's in the wash). It's fairly pricey if you buy it full price, but if you keep an eye out, it frequently comes up on One Kings Lane for half price. It's worth it. Believe me. Downside...the fibers do tend to get stuck to pacis, but it has never shed on anything else. Still worth it.
2. Paci Clips - No more worrying about that paci falling on the floor or wondering where you put it last. It's also quite handy when you have to reach in the backseat at a red light to make the crying stop. I have several...one for my purse, one for the car, a couple at home. I don't leave without my paci clip.
3. Gripe Water - With Ethan I would have put Mylicon as my favorite, but I've found Gripe Water to be much more effective at fighting tummy troubles. Bonus...it's all herbal. Love it!
4. Bitsy Bag - This is another luxury item, but I'm completely sold. It's a blanket that STAYS ON the baby. It won't fall on the floor and the baby can't kick it off. And? It's totally adorable.
5. Zippered Footies - Do not buy the snaps!!! You will not be able to put those together at 3AM when you are half awake. You will thank me later. My favorites are from The Children's Place and I'm partial to the stripes.
6. Aden and Anais - These swaddle blankets are the only ones you will need. Yes, they are more expensive than receiving blankets, but one 4-pk is all you really need although you will want more. They are generously sized and very breathable so you don't have to worry about overheating.
7. Rock and Play - With Ethan, the pack-n-play was my go to, but this is my new favorite. Why? It's super easy and non bulky to pack up and take with me wherever we go and I can put it so close to my bed that I don't even have to get up to get him. Plus it rocks. Get it.
8. Baby K'Tan - I had the Moby Wrap with Ethan, but the K'Tan is so much easier. Half the work is already done for you and there isn't so much fabric to drag around. With two kids in tow, this is the only way I can go to the grocery store.
Of course I've left off a few no-brainer items that you must have like a swing (seriously), pump and bottles, but honestly these items are what I use most every day. I've tried to get by with so much less this go around because it is just easier. Like I said, I don't even carry a diaper bag unless we are on a day-long excursion. A diaper and some wipes are really all you have to have with you...I can put those in a purse or honestly I usually shove them in a jacket pocket and even ditch the purse. And when it comes down to it, quality over quantity is really key here. You don't need a billion Target blankets or receiving blankets...you just need one or two nice go to ones. Honest.